Mthethwa urges Safa, PSL to use 'one voice' on resumption of football

Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa is due to hold a meeting with both Safa and the PSL on a way forward but says there are mixed signals coming from the two bodies about the resumption of the sport.

FILE: Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: @ArtsCultureSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa has sent a warning to the SA Football Association (Safa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to start speaking with one voice about the return of football in the country.

Safa has stated that after consultation with medical experts, they believe that football can only resume at level one lockdown and behind closed doors.

This is in stark contrast with the messages being sent out by the PSL, who hopes to convince the government to let them resume at level 3.

Mthethwa is due to hold a meeting with both Safa president, Dr Danny Jordaan, and PSL chairperson, Irvin Khoza, as well as Kaizer Motaung, on a way forward but says there are mixed signals coming from the two bodies about the resumption of the sport.

“We want to engage their wise counsel on their thoughts on the reopening of the lockdown with our own risk-adjusted strategy, as government,” he said.

“They must counsel me, both of them (Jordaan and Khoza). And I emphasise, it would be advisable that, as government, we get one voice from them.”

Mthethwa further added: “My final message to both is, they are occupying an important space in society in regard to football, so as the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, I would nudge them to work together at all material times in regard to football.”

Mthethwa made the comments at a briefing detailing the payout of the department's R150 million relief fund.

In total, 473 applications were received from 25 different sporting federations of which 291 of those applicants were approved for payments by last week Thursday.

Athletes will receive a maximum of R20,000 from the fund.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.